Sunday, May 15, 2016

Time To Exit?

Just after catching a bit of an item on Sky News this afternoon relating to Boris Johnson having said something pretty silly in relation to the question of whether Britain should stay in Europe, Noi asked me what the whole Brexit thing was about and why Britain, or part of it, wanted out of the EU. My attempt at explanation was a total failure, and simply served to illustrate my lack of any real understanding of the issues involved. So I won't be hurrying back to vote in the referendum, even if I'm allowed to, which I doubt.

If I did vote it'd most likely be a vote to remain in. It's not that I'm a passionate European, and I'm definitely something less than a committed federalist, but on the whole I think cooperation between nations is a good idea, especially cooperation of the economic variety. And the fact that war between the main European powers now seems ludicrous despite the last one occurring within living memory seems to me not just a good thing but one of the fantastic, implausible facts of history that allow hope for our species. 

That isn't to say that there aren't some sobering reasons for thinking otherwise and arguing for an exit. But I just wish the argument might be conducted as a sober, sensible one, based on dispassionate reason. At the moment it all seems pretty small-minded, pretty squalid, and not so prettily self-seeking. It's politics as usual in the UK, I'm afraid.

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